Are you hackable? How to create a strong defence against hackers

Whether you run a business or work in IT you will have undoubtedly heard of hackers. Hackers are people that will use their skills and with a big help from modern computing get access to files that they shouldn’t have access to. This causes a lot of problems which will be discussed below in detail. This post aims to teach and explain the best ways to protect yourself online and protect the business as a whole. Most of the information will also be helpful when protecting your accounts at home which can help protect valuable personal information such as emails, bank accounts and private info.

To begin I will explain exactly what a hacker is. Now contrary to the name hacker, they don’t do much conventional hacking instead they use mostly computer viruses and the computer equivalent of sleight of hand to infiltrate computer systems to get access to important accounts. Very rarely will the hacker get access unless there is a big problem with the security of your network. This can be in the form of a weak password, missing MFA or a direct attack on an unknowing employee.

To go into more detail about how you can help protect yourself and the business I will be explaining the best way to set up a password, using MFA to its full potential and explain how a VPN can be of use to remote or hybrid workers.

To start with passwords. Emails and passwords are the cornerstones of protecting any account that is made on the internet. Now most people don’t think anything of it they just simply type in their email and create a password such as the date of birth of a family member, their pet’s name or their favourite fictional character. This is how people lose access to their accounts and how people can lose important files, personal information and even money. Now it isn’t a problem with the email just the password. A weak and short password can be susceptible to something called a brute-force attack. This means that the person that is trying to access the account uses a robot on their computer that goes through a list of passwords until it reaches the correct one and gains access. They can also take a lucky guess or try and get more information out of you before getting into the account such as asking you for your favourite fictional character or finding the date of a family member’s birthday on social media.

Now you might be wondering how you can make a stronger password well it’s quite simple as there are a couple of requirements that need to be met for your password to be unbeatable. First of all, is to avoid the top 100 most common passwords of all time. The list can be accessed on the internet. If you have one of the most common passwords you will need it changed immediately as it’s likely someone is targeting your device right now. The second requirement to making an impossible password is the length of the password. For example, a password such as “pass” is only four letters long and in a brute force attack it will be tried very quickly leading to an imitated entry into your account however a password such as “refurbishcomputersystems” is a lot longer and can make it way more difficult for an attacker to gain access. By using the website https://www.passwordmonster.com/ we can see that the password “pass” takes 0 seconds to crack however “refurbishcomputersystems” takes 63 centuries which is a huge improvement and it can be better. To make the password impossible to crack you simply need to add a special character. Special character is symbols such as !, @, ; and :. You want something other than a letter. You can also add numbers and capital letters into the mix as well which increases the strength of the overall password as well. Now if we use a password such as “refurbishcomputersystems!4466@” we can create a password that takes 18 billion years to crack making it 100% impossible for anyone to get into the account.

I will address however that it’s unlikely you will remember such a long password unless you use it a lot in which case it might be annoying to type such a long password every time you need access to the account. The best way around this is to strike a balance of a short but powerful password using numbers, letters and special characters. A great way as well is to download a trusted password manager such as Nord password manager. This will allow you to store passwords and auto-generate strong passwords.

Next, I will talk about MFA. MFA stands for Multi-factor Authentication and it’s a great way to give your accounts that extra level of security making it even more impossible for anyone to gain access to the accounts. To set up MFA you will need the Microsoft MFA app. Once installed you will need to add the account and scan the QR code. Once it’s on the app from then on if someone tries to access the account a notification will pop up on the phone asking you to accept or deny. If the request wasn’t sent by you then you will simply ignore it or deny the request. It also keeps your account secure even if the password is breached meaning that if you get a request that you didn’t because you can rest your password imminently as it’s likely someone now has access to the password. You can also input a phone number which will then act as your MFA because they will then send you a phone message with a code that you have to input to gain access to the account.

Lastly, to have full protection on all of your accounts you need to be aware of the tricks these people try to get information out of you. For example, a big trick that they try is impersonating someone within your company or even a family member to try and request an email or password that will help them gain access to important accounts. It’s always best to make doubly sure that when you are responding to these emails you make sure that the person you are sending them to is the right person. To check this, make sure to double-check their email address and don’t assume they are telling the truth as some will say they lost access to their actual email, or they are emailing from a backup account. A rule of thumb is to never send important information such as passwords over text or email always do it in person if it’s necessary.

Another trick that people will try is called a man-in-the-middle attack which is when in a public space while you are accessing data someone will try and grab that data while it’s being sent. This means that they can grab passwords and email addresses while you use them in the café or an airport. As long as you are connected to the same WI-FI there is a possibility that someone could attack you. The best way around this is to invest in a VPN which gives you protection from man-in-the-middle attacks. A great VPN is Nord VPN making it perfect to pair up with the Nord password manager mentioned earlier.

If you are in the market for some IT professionals then look no further than Yorkshire computer systems. We can help with any IT-related inquiry or issue that you need help with. We can help with building servers, recommending parts and the software needed to create a server or PC or upgrading a server or PC you already have. We also offer server and device repairs for Computer machines, laptops and MAC devices. We also do remote support work with Microsoft 365 and do on-site visits for maintenance, installing new hardware or systems or machine audits.

Please get in contact with us now and make an appointment with us by emailing [email protected] or by using our phone number which is +441134842012

Thank you for reading until the end. If you want to learn more about us please explore our website and give the other blogs a read.

Yorkshire Computer Systems: How we can help you

By reading this blog post I hope to establish how we at Yorkshire computer systems can help you with your computer, laptop, and MAC issues and what may be the cause of the problem and what we will do to fix the issue with minimal downtime and without losing any of your important files.

At Yorkshire Computer Systems we offer a wide range of computer-related services with fast and responsive technicians that will be able to complete the order the same day they are deployed to your location. We don’t require you to come to us we can come to you and fix any problems that you may be having and give you further advice on how to prevent this in the future. we offer affordable pricing with no hidden fees or charges, and we use only the most genuine and high-quality parts when we replace your hardware.

Some of the services we offer are:

Loud noises: Computers, laptops and MACs aren’t supposed to be creating loud noises and when they do it’s usually a sign that something is quite wrong with the device which may lead to the device breaking later down the line. However, we can fix these faulty parts that are creating the noise to give your computer the best chance of continuing its work. Some of the most common problems of this type are related to the fans inside of the computer which controls the temperature and airflow of the device keeping it cool. Meaning if these fans fail the device could overheat resulting in crashes or worse. Desktops and laptops in the modern age usually have three types of fans which are related to the power supply, CPU, and graphics card. When these fans start creating noise we can service the part already in the device or if needed replace the part to fix the problem.

Turing off automatically: When a PC, laptop or MAC starts to turn off automatically it can mean a variety of things which could include a problem with the software or a problem with the hardware. For example, it could be a software problem which was caused by a Windows update which hasn’t been installed correctly. It could also be a hardware issue which is caused by overheating causing the computer to turn its self-off in order to cool down and protect the parts. Once we have identified the issue that is causing the device to turn itself off we will be able to fix the software update, or we shall make sure the fans and other computer hardware are installed and working correctly in order to stop the computer from turning off abruptly.

The computer won’t boot: When a computer refuses to boot it can mean a variety of things which means that it can take a little while to identify the problem as we will have to research every individual part of the computer in hopes of finding the part that is failing. This could vary from the motherboard to the RAM to the CPU. However, once the problem has been identified it will be a simple case of getting a replacement part for the device and replacing the failed part with the new one. Once that is completed we will run a check to see if all the systems of the device are working properly.

Running slow: If a computer is running slow then it could be because the device is overheating or the device has a failed drive that needs to be replaced which will require a replacement drive however we will make sure to keep all of the info from the failed drive and transfer it over to the new one to make sure that you have all of your important files, information and accounts.

Memory issues: Computers usually come with 4GB of memory however this is very low for modern computer devices as websites, programs and background applications are much more prevalent and require a lot more memory dedicated to them than they did a couple of years ago. This means that a lot of problems have to do with memory it is not the memory itself but the amount of memory the system has. Of course, there are sometimes problems with the memory of the device in which case it will need replacing which is a simple fix once the replacement parts are gathered.

Bluescreens and BSOD no boot: This is referring to the computer crashing and blue screening when the computer is turned on. This is quite a common problem with computers and can be fixed effectively resolving the issues with minimal data loss. We will be able to restore your computer to working health quickly and prevent it from happening in the future. The most common reason for this issue to occur is the operating system encountered an error which could come from a failed update or missing file.

Networking and Internet: We can install any routers that you need setting up and we can also set up a network for you while also configuring your wireless broadband connection and helping with any other internet or email problems that you might be having. We are also able to optimise your internet settings to give your devices the best internet connection possible for your building and area. Some problems that can be encountered with the internet can be a faulty cable or router or it could be the device itself is unable to receive the internet properly which may be a fault with the wireless internet card inside the PC which will need to be replaced.

Yorkshire computer systems don’t only fix issues with your devices. We can also install new devices for you. We can install anything from computer towers to laptops and even MAC devices. We can also transfer data to your new computer, laptop, or MAC so you don’t lose any data when upgrading from your old computer to the updated model. We can also complete hardware installations which can be upgraded from previous parts or newly installed if you happen to be building your own PC. These components include but aren’t limited to PSU, GPU, and memory.

Yorkshire computer systems strive for efficiency and effective fixes to your issues for your computer, laptop, and MAC devices. We hope that by reading this blog post you have gained an understanding of how we work and what problems we can help you with from internet and networking issues to hardware and software problems that are causing problems at work or on a personal device.

You can create an appointment with us by emailing [email protected] or by using our phone number which is +441134842012

Viruses and what to look out for

If you have worked with computers or had a computer at home at some point you would have come across something called a virus and if you decided to do some research on viruses you would have found out that like any other virus, it is bad for the health of your computer. I hope that by the end of this blog post, I will be able to shed some light on what a virus is and how we at Yorkshire’s computer systems can help with preventing and removing viruses.

To go into a little more detail about a computer virus you could describe it as a malicious piece of software that infects your PC. There are multiple different kinds of viruses that all do different things however they are all working towards the same goal of damaging your PC or trying to gain something useful in hopes of giving it back to the person that infected your computer with the virus.

Your computer can be infected with a virus in multiple different ways with varying levels of success as long as you know what to look out for. Some of the most common ways you can get a virus on your computer is through emails. By sending someone a file through emails disguised as something important you can easily get people to download the file and run it causing the virus to be downloaded onto your computer. Another way people can get to you through emails is by sending a phishing email which usually comes in the form of asking for important information such as usernames and passwords while pretending to be a co-worker or boss. This is why it’s very important to be positive that the person you’re sending this information to is the person they say they are. Also, you need to think how likely it is that this person would want me to send that information because a lot of the time a co-worker or boss would be interested in your username and email unless you previously brought it up to them.

Another common way you can get a virus on your computer is by downloading files from the internet which is a virus in disguise. Some people go to get lengths to make a website that looks very similar to the one you were looking for causing you to think you’re on a safe website when in actuality you are on a fake website which causes you to download these viruses accidentally. Yet again the best cause of action is to double-check if you are on the correct website by scanning the URL of the web page for any inconsistencies such as a website called Facebook123.com rather than Facebook.com.

Viruses can come in many shapes and sizes, and they vary in maliciousness. Some viruses will only infect a small part of your computer or may cause mild annoyance while using the devices such as crashing or blue screening the PC, closing files or deleting them. However, the more dangerous viruses could cause lots of problems including gaining access to important accounts or files that could put you or your workplace at risk of being breached. A modern virus is even capable of emptying your bank account without you even knowing unless you take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

Some virus types are:

Resident viruses: These are difficult to detect, and they attach themselves to your files. They mainly go for your RAM which allows them to disrupt you using the device and they may even attack your anti-virus leaving you open to larger threats.

Direct action: This virus is a .exe file which when executed will corrupt and target your most important files destroying the device. Luckily they are easily detected by the anti-viruses.

Browser hijacker: This virus forces you to go to an unsafe website and tries to get you to click on links, download files or give out your account information which can cause you to expose yourself. However, they are quite easily detected.

The best way to protect yourself from Viruses is by having an anti-virus. What an anti-virus does is it protect your computer and your important information from viruses by detecting and deleting them as soon as they enter your PC or by findings and deleting them when they try and attack you after hiding. They are required if you value your information and your expensive devices and are especially important for companies that may have clients or employee information on their systems as a virus could breach the system and gain all of their account and personal information. Anti-viruses are all mostly free with paid upgrades if you value your protection a little bit more however most anti-virus will protect you very efficiently using the free version. Some anti-viruses are bit defender, AVG, McAfee and Norton. Try and find the right one for you and your needs.

Now how can Yorkshire computer systems help you with your virus-related problems? Well, we offer a service which involves removing the virus if you suspect that your computer has one and when we remove it we will provide a full report of the work done, indicate the root of the problem and how you may have contracted the virus as well as setting up and further security measures or offering advice on how to protect your computer in the future. Advice will vary depending on the customer and the virus that was detected and removed from the computer. Advice will range from installing an anti-virus or upgrading the current one, informing the client on what to look out for next time in order to prevent it from happening again and how to better protect accounts and useful information using MFA.

Yorkshire computer systems offer a wide range of services not just computer virus related. We offer Windows re-installations, and replacement SSDs ranging from 240GB to 512GB. We also fix overheating, internet issues and BSOD. If you require help concerning virus removal or any other service we offer don’t be afraid to contact us for an appointment using the email address [email protected] or use the number +441134842012